Iroko Housing Co-operative, London

Location: South Bank, London

Completed: 2001

Number and type of affordable and/or social housing dwellings: 59 homes, including 32 five-bedroom houses, 6 are three-bedroom maisonettes and there are 21 one- and two-bedroom maisonettes and flats (including one flat designed for a wheelchair user) designed around a communal garden.

Area of the housing continuum: Social, co-operative

Affordability measures: The homes are leased to Iroko Housing Co-operative, an independent registered social landlord, which lets the properties in turn to its tenant members. The homes are let at affordable rents (from £76 a week including service charge for a one-bedroom flat to £123 per week for a five-bedroom house) to individuals and families in housing need who can show good reason to live in the area. Successful applicants must also be committed to taking an active part in the general running of the co-op. Now the housing is occupied, full responsibility for its management has passed to the new co-op tenant members. All have completed an initial training programme of 11 three-hour sessions. An elected management committee of 15 people is responsible for the day-to-day running of the co-op between quarterly general meetings of all tenant members.

Program partners: Coin Street Community Builders, Haworth Tompkins Architects

Project value: £14.5 million

How was it delivered: Haworth Tompkins designed the scheme as part affordable rental and part co-operative with private or shared ownership. Initially the design for the site had been a 16-storey office tower, but due to community resistance, this did not go ahead. A competition was held by the Coin Street Community Builders to design their fourth and largest housing development. The 0.87 hectare brownfield site was an entire urban block behind the London Weekend Television Centre. The site had previously been occupied by six-storey high warehouses and after being cleared was temporarily used as a car park.

The brief was to fully exploit the site’s potential for large family homes with individual gardens whilst also providing for smaller households to create a healthy mix.  All the homes have private open space, gardens, terraces or balconies – but a shared garden was also essential.

Architects Haworth Tompkins response was to arrange the homes on three sides of an open courtyard allowing communal space to be maximised in the form or a large landscaped garden with designated play areas. The fourth side of the square will be completed by the Stamford Street neighbourhood centre.

Funding: £5.5m Housing Corporation grant; £0.33m SRB Challenge Fund; £2.67m CSS borrowing; £6.00m Coin Street Community Builders borrowing

How affordability is ensured long term: Affordable rental, private or shared ownership managed by the cooperative.

Awards: Design for Homes Housing Design Project/Regeneration Award (2001)
Design for Homes Housing Design Completed Project Award (2002)
ROOM National Partnership Awards (2002)
Blueprint Architecture Awards 2002 – Best Residential Building
RIBA Award 2002


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